Once again, Blogcritics leads the pack in quality news, reviews, and analysis. Whether you're into T Bone Burnett or the Beach Boys, or wondering what horror flicks to pop into your Netflix queue next, you can read it here first. There's also a heart-rending review of a book about the still unfolding AIDS crisis in Africa viewed through the eyes of children, and a stirring account of the memorial in New York City dedicated to the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. Whether you're in the mood for a light-hearted romp through the fields of pop culture or some serious food for thought, you'll find it here.
Let me remind those of you who are chosen that you are invited to submit your own pick for next week (due to space considerations, please limit it to one). Please feel free to email me your picks (including the URL) by next Tuesday.
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
Mark Saleski does it again with his CD Review: Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris – All The Roadrunning. Not only a good look at the CD but also at the lines between country, rock, and other genres.
Zach Hoskins of Modern Pea Pod examines CD Reviews: T Bone Burnett – Twenty Twenty: The Essential T Bone Burnett and The True False Identity. Comparisons are made between the two CDs mentioned and correlations are drawn to other well known names. And it's all done in an entertaining and succinct article.
In Limits: What Are Your Recording Limitations?, producer Chris Mara (via Marc GulfCoastBands) takes a good look at the media used in recording as well as the production process. An interesting read for any music lover.
A tip of the hat to our esteemed leader, Eric Olsen for his Surviving Beach Boys to Appear Together for First Time in a Decade, a comprehensive career overview as well as the news. It's entertaining and reflective; check it out.
From El Bicho:
CD Reviews: T Bone Burnett – Twenty Twenty: The Essential T Bone Burnett and The True False Identity by The Modern Pea Pod
A great examination of an an artist and his work. Even though I disagreed with some points raised, the article kept my attention and interest, illustrating the strength of the arguments and the writing. Not just the week, but one of my picks for the year.
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
Looking inward and outward, two of the articles deserving extra attention this week were:
Bonnie's review of Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS, which is, she says, "a good introduction to the Sub-Saharan AIDS crisis for children and a reminder of the human realities of the crisis for readers of all ages." There's so much about the world that we should inform ourselves of, that you don't always get time to read all you'd like. But if you can't get to the book, this comprehensive review and sampler would be a good substitute.
Turning inward, Mark Schannon looked at the vexed issue of writer's block. In my experience, nothing beats the threat of a blank page in a newspaper, an angry boss, and a ten-minute deadline for solving the problem, but if you've got to set your own deadlines, and find your own solution, Mark has some excellent, constructive thoughts.
From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
"I'm trying to understand what I can do. I'm trying to find somewhere to pin my hope in all the hopelessness," says a dedicated Bonnie in her heartbreaking and articulately impassioned book review of Our Stories, Our Songs, an introduction to the African AIDS crisis. The book "will inspire, sadden and educate other young people," and Bonnie's review perfectly conveys these hopes and realities.
From TV Editor Joan Hunt:
For the first time in a long while, I've actually understood something written by our whiskey-sodden Duke de Mondo. Yes, this Hills Have Eyes piece, co-written by Aaron Fleming, spoke to me. Loudly. In a rather frightening, lucid voice. Perhaps it was the pain meds, but I rather liked it. You should, too.
Larry Sakin's review of the Lewis Black HBO special compelled me to tune in. Sure, I love Lewis Black just for being digitally (as in fingers, not pixels) possessed and cranky, but Larry convinced me to have a look at some of the more political fare offered up by the curmudgeonly observer.
There may be hope for Last Comic Standing, but only if the producers listen to Eric Berlin.
Even in Reruns, June's a Good Month for House by Diane Kristine is a darn good read and gives everyone a reminder as to why it's necessary to tune in each week to see the odd Doc put his patients through their paces.
From SciTech Editor Lisa McKay:
Iloz Zoc has completely won me over with this review of Freaks, which is part spooky narrative, part astute analysis of a cult favorite, and wholly entertaining to anyone with even a passing interest in the horror genre.
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
With grace and reverence, Victor Lana illustrates both the essence and the purpose of the New York Firefighters' Monument in An Ode in Bronze Relief: A Fitting 9/11 Memorial.
From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:
Zarqawi's Death from the Illiberal's Perspective by Dr. Politico
Very perceptive assessment of how the left goes astray when trying to make political mileage from issues like the recent death of Zarqawi.
Bolton Applies the Screws to the UN by Rick Moran
A timely examination of the little noted work of John Bolton who is trying to wrestle the UN back to some semblance of sanity.
From Asst. Politics Editor Mark Schannon:
Guantanamo Suicides: A Stain on American Justice by Rick Moran
Clearly and forcefully drives home the point that there are moral and ethical issues essential to our justice system. He doesn't try to pretend there aren't problems, but he comes down on the side of the Constitution.
Never Again! by Dr Politico
Scathing condemnation of the world for its failure to stop the horror in Sudan.
The Price of Gas – Not High Enough Yet by Dave Nalle
Outstanding analysis of the pros and cons of subsidized gas prices and the effects on the U.S. economy.
Senatorial Same-Sex Marriage Dog Act Disappoints Religious Conservatives by Margaret Romao Toigo
Blasts both the religious right and the Senate right between the eyes for wasting time on trivia while DC burns.
From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
"The United Nations has proven that the importance of self-interest trumps the importance of human life; the UN is not the solution," says Dr. Politico in Never Again, his call to action and wholesale indictment of the world for not intervening in the Sudan genocide. He make a convincing case that "the solution rests in America’s devotion to freedom, democracy, and the rights of all people to life and liberty."
From Asst. Sports Editor Sal Marinello:
M.D. Sandwasher's live blog of the Stanley Cup Finals' game three is a very enjoyable read and sets the tone for all live sports blogs that others may write.
Matt Sussman, in his look at power-hitting, flash-in-the-pan in the making Chris Shelton, does a great job of pointing out how fleeting success and notoriety can be when you are a major league baseball player.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
Wii're Gonna Fail (Wii Can't Handle the Truth…) by John Guilfoil
When Fanboys Attack, Part Deux! John doesn't buy the hype around the Wii. Please help convince him with another 150 comments.
PSP Review: Field Commander by Matt Paprocki
Who cares if it's a clone of Advance Wars, that is a great game. Besides, the PSP needs to bulk up its library.
GameCube Review: Rampage: Total Destruction by Mark Buckingham
Rampage isn't what it used to be. But then, this is a new GameCube game.
From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:
In News From the Heart, our intrepid frontline health reporter Howard Dratch tells us how one cardiologist went above and beyond the call of duty and gives us some further updates from the cardiology frontier.
Craig Lyndall takes a look at the RIAA and its recent suit against XM Satellite Radio. At what point does litigiousness stifle technological ingenuity?